Retirement plan revised

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 5, 2003

Hoping to ease or eliminate the need for layoffs after the state budget is passed, the City Council will vote on an early retirement incentive package for city employees Monday at their regular meeting.

The package gives eligible employees 346 hours of severance pay at their hourly rate. There is also a health-insurance benefit of $416.66 a month for five years or until they are eligible for Medicare at age 65. If the proposal passes, employees would be able to apply on Tuesday.

Seventeen eligible city employees met Thursday with City Administrator Pat McGarvey, Director of Administrative Services Tom Dankert and Human Resources Director Tricia Wiechmann to discuss the proposal. Wiechmann said people were interested.

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"When we had the meeting, there were a lot of questions," she said. "It sounds like there may be two or three that will be here Tuesday morning."

There were some changes from the proposal the council approved at their March 18 work session. Among them, the city administrator, children's librarian, librarian, and accounting technician positions would not be eligible for the incentives. Previously, only fire and police positions were ineligible.

"In that position at the library, other employees can't step in because they would need a master's degree in library of science," Wiechmann said.

The issue of the librarian and children's librarian positions was a point of contention at the work session.

Also on the schedule is approval of the employment agreement for Jim Hurm, who is set to step in as City Administrator on April 28 after current City Administrator Pat McGarvey retires.

Hurm's contract will start at $82,500, but will increase to $87,500 after two performance evaluations in the first 12 months.

Matt Merritt can be reached at 434-2214 or by email at